Exploiters sicken to pay for labour in media: Minister Banskota

Kathmandu- Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Gokul Prasad Banskota, has said the security of media does not mean only the security of owner, but also of the workers there. The tendency of disgraced and dejected departure of journalists from the media house where they gave their blood, sweat and tears must be ended, he underscored while speaking at a programme on ‘Labour Issue in Journalism’ organized by FNJ Labour Welfare Promotion Committee on Tuesday.

“Those who are exploiting the working journalists unabated become sick when they are asked to pay for their labour. Only the safety and security of media investors does not mean safe media,” the Minister underscored, adding that government’s decision on its direction for proper payment to the workers at media houses cannot be reconsidered. Government strongly advocates for social justice which respects labour.

According to him, government was not questioning about anyone’s property details but standing for the socialism through respect to labour culture, value of labour and social justice. Government was checking whether the media houses are paying the journalists and workers every month as per the fixed wage. “If there is the difference between the salary media workers are provided and the information on it submitted to government bodies, it’s the fraud; it’s the exploitation.

“Government took the decision of salary increment for journalists and media workers based on the recommendation of the minimum wage fixation and Working Journalists’ Act,” he reminded.

Moreover, the Minister argued that quality of journalism waned after those involving in other profession than journalism were acquiring Press Accreditation Pass. So, government’s decision for the journalists’ submission of salary details at Department of Information before getting Press Pass will be implemented. “No talk is held with anyone on it,” he emphasized and reiterated that the age of well managed and safe journalism has begun.

On the occasion, FNJ Secretary Ram Prasad Dahal, then Chairman of Press Chautari Nepal, Ganesh Basnet, Rem Bishwokarma, Danda Gurung, and former Chairman of Nepal Press Union, Samir Jung Shah said those who are not capable to pay minimum wage of journalists need not run media, and government too should not favour such media houses.

FNJ central members Yam Biraha and Janma Dev Jaishi and others wondered how the media owners became luxurious every year while not paying minimum wage to the working journalists. Such trend must come to an end, they reiterated.The government has fixed the minimum wage of Rs 24,375 to the journalists who are new entrants in media.

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